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Thinking of getting into car valeting ?

Discussion in 'Motors' started by DezUk, 7 Jun 2006.

  1. DezUk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 Sep 2003

    Posts: 2,345

    Location: Scotland

    I have recntly been considering the idea of starting my own car valeting business. The idea of using an all contained van and going round lots of business parks and washing/valeting cars whilst people are at work. I was thinking a rough price guide as follows


    Wash1 - 6 quid

    Hand wash bodywork
    Hand wash alloys
    Dry Off


    Wash2 - 12 quid

    Hand wash bodywork
    Hand wash alloys
    Dry Off
    Hand Polish
    Treat Alloys
    Clean WIndows



    Wash3 - 15 quid

    Hand wash bodywork
    Hand wash alloys
    Dry Off
    Hand Polish
    Hand Wax
    Treat Alloys
    Clean WIndows
    Hoover inside
    Empty Ashtrays


    These are just some ideas i thought on the spot just now, I'm not sure if the prices are in the right area but sounds ok to me. I'm basically wondering if you guys would use a service like this if it was to turn up in your works car park ?
     
  2. -westy-

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Nov 2002

    Posts: 12,316

    Location: UK

    depends how far you want to go really - you can either do basic washes (like the ones you've posted) or go as far as detailing etc.

    With regards to the prices, it might be easier to charge a more rounded amount, so £5, £10, £15 - its easier for people to pay, intead of messing about with change.
     
  3. Sone

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,654

    Don't know about other peoples car parks but here you can barely walk round the car, nowhere near enough room to wash :(
     
  4. R0B75

    Soldato

    Joined: 15 Aug 2003

    Posts: 5,745

    Location: Derby

    Where I work there is already a car washing service done by a a local indy group. I don't know how much they charge as I've not had mine done by them, but quite a few people here have very nice cars (me not included), and regularly get theirs done by them.

    They do it in a spare couple of bays in the car park, I bet they make quite alot of money too. I'd say go for it if there is a good business opportunity.
     
  5. mattpc

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,731

    Location: Manchester

    Its not an awful idea but you wil need an awful lot of energy and determination to see it thru. You are also going to need to do plenty of cars each day to earn a decent living.
     
  6. Mr Mister

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 14 Dec 2005

    Posts: 1,670

    a lot of places there are immigrants that do it rediculously cheap so you should check out the competition in your area first. They do a full valet for a fiver :eek:
     
  7. merlin

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 20,665

    Location: England

    The local (fixed, not mobile) eastern european powered place to me does :-

    Hand wash & dry £5

    Hand wash & dry and vac and glass £10

    Hand wash & dry and vac and glass & interior detailed £15

    As above plus polish £25 or £30

    As above plus hard wax I think is about £40.
     
  8. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,410

    Location: Bristol, UK

    What about during the winter months? NOT an enjoyable job.
     
  9. lordrobs

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Sep 2003

    Posts: 14,822

    Location: Mulbarton, Norwich

    Your pitching your prices a bit low imo. Go for the "you get what you pay for" approach and offer a better level of service. The "quick wash for those who can't be bothered" places are becoming ten a penny. Also you really need to add window washing into the basic wash.
     
  10. Scrutinize

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 4 Apr 2003

    Posts: 7,516

    There is an "American Hand Wash" up near me. Starts at £12, and the majority of the cars they have are exec saloons, X5s, RRs, etc. Thats the market you should aim for. People who can only afford a £5 wash tend to do it themselves :D
     
  11. neil-ste

    Mobster

    Joined: 8 Mar 2003

    Posts: 2,857

    Location: Washington

    I agree. My first job was valeting cars, my boss used to make very pretty penny (And paid me buttons :p ) We used to mainly focus on the more executive side of things so he charged a bit more. It was amazing how many times someone would book a valet and once we turned Mr X and Mr Y would also ask to have theirs done.

    There's definitely money in it, but working in the winter is a total nightmare, ever tried washing a car when the water freezes on it within seconds? :( Because of this we used to do a lot of office / carpet cleaning in winter.
     
  12. Simon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,389

    Location: Berks / Moscow

    Yeah prices are too low. Should be taking an hour on the car and chargingaccordingly. We paid £30 for our pool car to be valeted. Could tell he had took his time though, nice and clean with no missed bits, spotless windows, interior looked new and smelt nice.

    You need to offer something that would take someone a long time to do rather than a quick wash that they can do in 10mins when they get home from work.
     
  13. eidolon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Oct 2002

    Posts: 13,865

    Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

    I wouldn't let anyone else touch my car but that's just me.

    Do you have any timescales for how long it would take to do the different washes per car? Wash 3 for example would probably take over an hour to do so when you take off overheads you're probably earning £10 per hour, not exactly the greatest of wages for pretty hard work.
     
  14. DezUk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 Sep 2003

    Posts: 2,345

    Location: Scotland

    Some good comments :)

    At the moment i am working in an office job and have done for over 3 years now and it is really beggining to drag, they pay sucks at 14k year for what is a IT professional job. So i reckon if i could get 100 cars a week that would be cool :D

    I had the idea of using my week off next week to make up a load of flyers and go round as many business parks that i can think of and drop them in at the receptions. And one day go round some of them, call in at reception to let the building know i am there. Customers can leave their keys at reception and i can whell their cars into a free space and wash away, hand keys back and collect the cash. This is how a guy used to work that came round our office block.
     
  15. eidolon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Oct 2002

    Posts: 13,865

    Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

    What about insurance? (in case you damage a car whilst moving it or get a stone caught in your sponge and wreck somebodys paintwork)
     
  16. Jez

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 32,441

    What are your outgoings? I know for me i wouldnt be happy with the insecurity of paying ~£800pm fixed bills on an uncertain and potentially low income?

    With your current job you have a fixed salary coming in, you KNOW you will be able to save X per month after bills etc. If it were me i would be looking to do this alongside your proper job for a good while to see how it pans out.
     
  17. iCraig

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 21 Apr 2004

    Posts: 13,314

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Your basic wash doesn't include windows?

    You need to include window washing, it's often the main thing that needs cleaning on a car. I mean, what are you going to do, wash around them? :confused: Especially how the suds will just drip down them anyway.

    The prices seem ok, but I can't see you making a decent living off it, it's the kind of thing kids do during the summer holidays to make a bit of pocket money.
     
  18. GJUK

    Hitman

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 956

    Location: Colchester

    why not trial it..do it during the everning and weekends and see if it worth it??

    use it to TOP up your current wages and see how you get on??


    GJUK
     
  19. Sagalout

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 Nov 2003

    Posts: 5,668

    Location: Harrogate

    You'll never earn much doing it yourself, especially at those rates. Better idea would be to employ some of the immigrants mentioned a few posts above and supervise them to make sure they are doing a good job. That will increase your capacity and earning potential by a huge factor.

    Will also allow you the sufficient time to win new business etc.
     
  20. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,410

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Yes thats exactly right. If you can get in with say some hire companies or courier or taxi firm then you will have a constant income from those sorts of people.